Ngoc Nhu Nguyen MSc Marketing Management, Graduated in December 2016
Ever since a close friend of mine who studied at Southampton University informed me of the school, I dreamt of studying in this inspiring environment. I would recommend the school for those who wish to grow both academically and personally and to be trained by one of the best professors and learning facilities in the world.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?
Ever since a close friend of mine who studied at Southampton University informed me of the school, I dreamt of studying in this inspiring environment. I was especially impressed by the tempting fact that almost 100% of your graduates go on to further study or enter full-time employment. Generally, the Master Program in Marketing has a long tradition of providing a graduate degree of high international standards and is designed for students with strong interpersonal skills and critical thinking. At that time, I thought it would totally suit me well.
Moreover, the University annually accepts students from diverse countries; therefore, I chose to come here to have more opportunities to understand about more diverse cultures and establish international connections.
What were your first impressions of the University of Southampton?
Building numbers at University of Southampton and its location was hard to navigate at first. If you think the building number 2 is located next to the one number 1, you are totally wrong. Next to it, instead, are number 58, 56 and 4; next to number 1 is the building number 16. Quite confusing, isn’t it?
What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton?
I really enjoying going to the church on Sundays, I found the Christ Church Southampton my second family where I have met friendly locals and internationals. My mentors in the Christ Church Southampton are one of the kindest people I have luckily known.
Also, I enjoy all of the friendships I have experienced here so far: When a close friend of mine – Chi exchanged her warm and lovely coat for me on my first UK night when she saw me like dancing and jumping when walking home due to the cold weather; When I go to iCoffee, iExplored, iConnect, or any other activities (Oxford Day trip, British Culture Sessions, etc.) organised by Friends International Organisation to meet up new friends; When my flatmate used my kitchen stuff, accidentally burned it and bought a new one for me the following day. He is also the one who lends me the rice cooker for the entire term time; When starting a new friendship with an interesting and hard-working student from France by walking side by side in the Southampton Common Park and learning that both our sisters are in Australia!
What is your favourite spot on campus?
Valley Gardens is a place where you can easily find me sitting there with my iPad and writing something. Its beauty and fresh atmosphere has always inspired me.
Jubilee Sport Centre where I have tried Latin Fusion/Zumba dance, Circuits, Total Balance, Pilates, Aquafit, playing badminton with Vietnamese Society. There are several other fitness classes I have not done yet, though. I love coming here every now and then.
What has been your proudest accomplishment while you were in Southampton?
One of my articles won the first prize in the writing contest “UK in my eyes 2015” organised by the British Council Vietnam. Because I could not make it to attend as I am studying here, it was such a great privilege that the Head of the Southampton Business School, Professor Martin Broad, was willing to accept the prize on my behalf since he happened to do his business trip in Vietnam. He even asked my points and used them in 'my' acceptance speech. He brought the prize back to Southampton for me. What a brilliant honour!
Having my first article published globally on the British Council Website as their Student Journalist in the early of May 2016 and receiving compliments from my Programme Officer ‘Congrats for getting your name out there and publishing so much, you are one of most active scholars and I commend you for it’ and from a mentor of mine in Christ: ‘This is brilliant. I've sent J. and O. the link and also J. - she's always so interested in all of you and prays for you. Also to all iConnect team!!! It's worth celebrating and sharing’.
Would you recommend the University of Southampton to students from your home country?
Along with the main course, as a postgraduate student in the Business School, the university has offered me a variety of free and useful training workshops: Intercultural Communication mini-course, Essay writing, Everyday English, Public Speaking and Presentation, and so on. My soft skills have enhanced dramatically. I would recommend the school for those who wish to grow both academically and personally and to be trained by one of the best professors and learning facilities in the world.
What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?
The degree is just a certificate itself. That what I have learning throughout the year counts. The university has well equipped me to have enough competence to excel in my career path, to transform me right from the start to be who I am now: a very different and mature girl, who has fine-tuned her critical and analytical thinking skills; a ready-to-work person whose knowledge of the internet, social media as well as data analysis is more enhanced; an internationally-qualified marketer who is capable of taking advantage of the digital initiatives as methods to expand and drive business opportunities. Inevitably, I feel more confident about my teamwork and interpersonal skills which have been further honed to adapt to different cultures, studying and working styles. Studying here has helped me discover my hidden writing talent, making me fully aware of my potential, and what can be done to make myself even better – not perfect, just better.
Do you have any stories about your time in Southampton or a happy memory you want to share?
When I read my winning article to mom over Skype and she expressed that she heard and understood it.
There was one time the storage under my mattress went wrong: the hinge has come loose and the screws have come out of it. A repairman came and fixed while I was in my room. A very lovely conversation was conducted when he taught me the new words ‘hinge, screw’ and helped me distinguish between ‘screw’ and ‘rivet’, then somehow we led to his interesting background which was he used to be a firefighter.
08/05/2016 has marked the best weather date in the UK since I was here: no coat, no tights, just nice dress itself. The sun shined until 9pm, the temperate was chilly.
I once lost ID card and Bus Pass Card while helping my friend move out. Luckily, I found and collected them as soon as the following morning since they have been carefully handed into Wessex Lane Halls Reception.
When I got home late, being hungry, having no food left on the fridge, nothing beats the pizza offered by my Mexican flatmate. He even made it for me after saying “It is going to take a while to make it so please go into your room to rest, I will knock the door when it is ready”.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
No feeling can beat the one when I really sat down on my desk during the Christmas break, and made plans of reviewing the upcoming examinations, doing assignments due in January, celebrating Christmas, working as the UK Education Ambassador for British Council Vietnam, UK Education Student Journalist for BC UK at the same time: It was like torture. I even thought I was going to die soon. However, I have made them all proudly. That is when I learnt how to manage and balance my work-study-life.